You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

Paperback Vintage

By (author) Jaron Lanier

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 223 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 20mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 2 August 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307389979
  • ISBN 13: 9780307389978
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 66,046

Product description

A NATIONAL BESTSELLER A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse. Informed by Lanier's experience and expertise as a computer scientist, "You Are Not a Gadget" discusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choices--such as the nature of user identity--that were "locked-in" at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the "wisdom" of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent.

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Author information

Jaron Lanier is known as the father of virtual reality technology and has worked on the interface between computer science and medicine, physics, and neuroscience. He lives in Berkeley, California. Visit the author's website at

Review quote

“A provocative and sure-to-be-controversial book . . . Lucid, powerful and persuasive. It is necessary reading for anyone interested in how the Web and the software we use every day are reshaping culture and the marketplace.” —Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"   “Important . . . At the bottom of Lanier’s cyber-tinkering is a fundamentally humanist faith in technology, a belief that wisely designed machines can bring us closer together by expanding the possibilities of creative self-expression . . . His mind is a fascinating place to hang out.” —Ben Ehrenreich, "Los Angeles Times"   “Persuasive . . . [Lanier] is the first great apostate of the Internet era.” —David Wallace-Wells, "Newsweek"   “Thrilling and thought-provoking . . . A necessary corrective in the echo chamber of technology debates. "You Are Not a Gadget" challenges many dominant ideologies and poses theoretical